Swimming muskrat

Green Grass, Muskrats, and Geese

While checking on the Arboretum yesterday to see how the spring rains were treating the landscape, I came across a pair of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) grazing on new grass emerging from the seeding of a constructed area we call the Gathering Circle. The geese brought back memories of my relative youth as a budding … Continue reading

Idaho Pygmy Rabbit

Why Endangered?

“Why?” asks one of the most fundamental questions in science, or for that matter, human existence. ┬áScientists spend a lot of time asking how and why does this or that particular phenomenon, event, or circumstance happen, and not another? “Why?” is always a good question for everyone to keep in their mind whether thinking about … Continue reading

Polar Bear

Are Polar Bears Really Endangered?

The technical answer to this question is no. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were declared to be a threatened species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in May, 2008. The threatened classification means that the species is vulnerable to becoming endangered in the future. Perhaps the more interesting question is – how many of the … Continue reading

Vertical farms

Vertical Farming Part 1: Could WSU Feed the City of Pullman?

Vertical farming is a brand new concept that originated in about 1909. No, that’s not a typo. So why are we getting excited about it now, over 100 years later? In 1909, the burgeoning growth of the world’s human population and the need for food production didn’t seem quite as pressing as it does today … Continue reading